Three Colorado Buffaloes seniors – Shay Fields, Derek McCartney and Devin Ross – were all named Tuesday to preseason watch lists that continue to be rolled out this month by the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA).
Fields and Ross were both named by The Tallahassee Quarterback Club (TQC) Foundation, Inc. to the 2017 Biletnikoff Award preseason watch list. The award recognizes college football’s outstanding receiver at any position.
McCartney is one of a record 108 players from the FBS named to the 2017 Wuerffel Trophy watch list.
The Wuerffel Trophy, known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service,” is presented annually by the All Sports Association in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel from the University of Florida, the Wuerffel Trophy is awarded to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.
For the Biletnikoff Award, CU was one of just five schools in the country to have two players make the preseason watch list. It easily could have been a third, too, as fellow senior Bryce Bobo (88 career receptions, 945 yards) just missed the preseason list. Players not on the preseason watch list can be added to it as the season progresses. The TQC will announce the 10 Biletnikoff Award semifinalists on Nov. 13 and the three finalists on Nov. 21.
The 2017 Biletnikoff Award winner will be presented live on Dec. 7, 2017, on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show to be broadcast 5 p.m. MT on ESPN.
Semifinalists for the Wuerffel Trophy will be announced on Nov. 2 and finalists will be announced on Nov. 22. The formal announcement of the 2017 recipient will be made at the National Football Foundation’s press conference in New York City on Dec. 5.
Fields’ 1,929 career receiving yards are the most of any returning player in the Pac-12 Conference. On CU’s all-time receiving charts, he ranks sixth in receptions (144), ninth in touchdown receptions (17) and 10th in yards. A true deep threat, he has nine career plays of 50 yards or longer (seven of which are over 60 yards) and he is coming off his junior season in which he earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors.
McCartney’s off the field accomplishments are well documented and last year he was selected to the 2016 AFCA Good Works team, one of just 12 Division I players honored (only one who returns in 2017) to the 25th annual that recognizes and celebrates those who dedicate their time to bettering the community and the lives of others. He has played in 27 career games with 25 starts entering his senior season. McCartney graduated in May 2016 after just three years with a degree in one of CU’s most challenging majors – Integrative Physiology – with a Pre-Med course of study at Colorado. He is now enrolled in CU’s graduate program for Integrative Physiology and is on schedule to earn his master’s this December. In the 2016 offseason, he made national headlines after being matched with a recipient for a bone marrow donation; it came about thanks to CU’s “Be A Match” program that coach Mike MacIntyre started after his first year in Boulder.
Ross is coming off his junior campaign when he led the Buffs in receptions with 66, a total that ranked fourth in the Pac-12. He earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors in 2016 when he also posted five TD receptions. Ross is tied for 15th in school history (with his position coach Darrin Chiaverini) with 97 receptions, and is 21st in receiving yards with 1,113.